Configure your Chromebook to connect via a Proxy Server

01 Sep 2017
tutorial 4 minute read

If you are using a Chromebook in a school environment, you may need to make a few small adjustments to your network settings to successfully connect via a proxy server.


A proxy is a server or device through which requests and responses for web pages and sites are routed. Think of it as a gatekeeper through which most, or all, Internet traffic is sent. They are commonly used to enforce filtering policies (restricting access to inappropriate or harmful material), to store (cache) parts of pages (e.g. videos or images) closer to your device so that they appear to load faster and also to log Internet traffic for technical, legal or policy compliance.

Proxies can take a lot of different forms and are commonly found right the way through the networks which make up the access portion of the Internet. Mobile phone connections or any cellular data system (e.g. 4G Broadband) will typically send traffic through one or more proxies. These proxies are transparent and therefore require no extra configuration of your device to use them.

In smaller organisations, such as schools, a proxy may not be transparent and thus may require a bit of configuration to get your Chromebook ‘talking’ to the outside world. It’s a straightforward process, and very quick to do.


If you can connect to the network via an ethernet cable or wireless connection, but websites stubbornly refuse to load - you may be on a network that uses a proxy. The first thing to do is to ask if this is the case. Normally anyone who works with IT in the organisation will be able to tell you whether this is the case and give you the essential details you will need to successfully connect through the proxy.

While the exact wording, colour, shape, size and position of the Chrome OS Configuration pages changes a little with every software release, you can usually configure three ‘flavours’ of connection for each wireless (or wired) network to which you connect. Just click on the network you are connected to (often the name of the Wireless Network) from the settings page (chrome://settings/), or the network connection icon at the end of your shelf (which is normally to be found at the bottom of the screen). From here, you should be able to locate the proxy settings, or a proxy tab (depending on your Chrome OS version). If you are not able to ‘select’ or ‘configure’ the proxy, you may need to switch on proxy settings for shared networks, which are connections (e.g. wireless networks) that ‘are shared’ between all users of your Chromebook.

The three (or occasionally four) connection flavours are:

Your friendly IT contact will be able to tell you which of these to use, and give you the required details that you should enter. As these settings are pretty much standard across all device types and browsers, no extra or specific Chromebook knowledge is needed.

Once you have added the correct settings and saved them, they will be active just for that network. This means when you head home, or to another wireless network at a different organisation, you won’t need to turn them off. They will stay there, waiting for the next time you connected to the ‘proxied’ network - when they will become active and ensure your Internet traffic gets through!

Tagged Chrome, Google, Networks

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